8 Best Red Dot Sights of 2021
Accessories like the red dot sight are often overlooked as many shooters and hunters only pay attention to the rifle, and many people will only get them as an afterthought. But, if you are serious about improving your aim, it is vital to get the best red dot sight.
The red dot sight is a type of non-magnifying (but some modern ones are magnified) reflex sight for firearms and other devices that require aiming.
And with a good red dot sight, you will get a large field of view on the target, quick target acquisition, and limitless eye relief. But, with so many red dot sight models out there, and almost as many opinions on what works best, picking one can be a daunting task.
However, our review of red dot sights below and buying guide will help you understand what you need to look out for when shopping for these handy rifle accessories.
- 10 Best Red Dot Sights – Review
- 1. Bushnell AR731306 – Best Overall
- 2. OTW Red Dot Sight Micro Riflescope – Fast Centering and Easy on the Eye
- 3. Tacticon Armament Predator V1 Red Dot Sight – Reliable Hunting Sight with Super-Fast Target Acquisition
- 4. Vortex Optics SG_B00MAJKX9M_US – Sturdy and Extra High Recoil Aluminum Alloy Sight
- 5. Sig Sauer SOR52001 – Convenient and Versatile Scope with Multiple Illumination Settings
- 6. CVLife Red Dot Sight With 20mm Rail – Best Budget Red Dot Sight
- 7. Field Sport SG_B00Y3SZEJC_US – High-Quality and Affordable Aluminum Sight
- 8. Sightmark SM26008 – User-Friendly Red and Green Sight
- How to Buy the Best Red Dot Sights
10 Best Red Dot Sights – Review
1. Bushnell AR731306 (Best Overall)
2. OTW Red Dot Sight Micro Riflescope (Fast Centering & Easy on the Eye)
3. Tacticon Armament Predator V1 Red Dot Sight (Reliable Hunting Sight)
4. Vortex Optics SG_B00MAJKX9M_US ( With Sturdy & Extra High Recoil)
5. Sig Sauer SOR52001 (Convenient & Versatile Scope)
6. CVLife Red Dot Sight With 20mm Rail (Best Budget)
7. Field Sport SG_B00Y3SZEJC_US (High-Quality & Affordable)
8. Sightmark SM26008 (User-Friendly Red & Green Sight)
1. Bushnell AR731306
2. OTW Red Dot Sight Micro Riflescope
(Fast Centering & Easy on the Eye)
3. Tacticon Armament Predator V1 Red Dot Sight
(Reliable Hunting Sight)
4. Vortex Optics SG_B00MAJKX9M_US
( With Sturdy & Extra High Recoil)
5. Sig Sauer SOR52001
(Convenient & Versatile Scope)
6. CVLife Red Dot Sight With 20mm Rail
7. Field Sport SG_B00Y3SZEJC_US
(High-Quality & Affordable)
8. Sightmark SM26008
(User-Friendly Red & Green Sight)
1. Bushnell AR731306 – Best Overall
- MOA: 3
- Battery: CR 2032
- Material: Aluminum alloy
- Weight: 3.7 ounces
With a lightweight red dot sight like this one, you can be confident that you will not be adding any significant weight to your gun, which is always a good thing.
But, besides the lightweight, Bushnell makes this 3 MOA red dot sight with multicoated optics to ensure that hunters will never have trouble seeing targets even in low light conditions.
This red dot sight is also designed to be 100% shock, fog and waterproof to make it ideal for the outdoor environments and for use in almost any weather condition.
Mounting this red dot sight on your gun is also relatively easy and using it should also be quite straightforward once you figure out the basics.
Like with most other top notch red dot sights, you will also get an unlimited field of view and eye relief. And there will also not be any need for centering thanks to the parallax free design.
Adjusting the dots will be a little hectic when you first start using this red dot sight but thing should be easy once you get used to it.
2. OTW Red Dot Sight Micro Riflescope – Fast Centering and Easy on the Eye
- MOA: 4
- Battery: CR 1063
- Material: Machined aluminum
- Weight: 4.7 ounces
4 MOA red dot sights like this one are always a great choice as they seem to work well for most guns. Their dot size makes them easy for the eye to pick and they are also not too large to obstruct the target.
But besides the MOA, this red dot sight also offers fast centering with a parallax-free dot design that keeps it fixed on the target. And it will allow you to choose from 5 different brightness settings depending on the lighting conditions.
This red dot sight will work for most types of gun and it will come with a 1913 Picatinny 20mm weaver rail base that makes it easy to mount.
The required CR 1063 battery is included in the package to ensure the sight is ready to use when you get it. And the manufacturer will provide a 6-month warranty for quality and service guarantee.
The relatively shorter battery life is the most significant drawback of this red dot sight but in many instances it should last long enough to finish your hunting session.
3. Tacticon Armament Predator V1 Red Dot Sight – Reliable Hunting Sight with Super-Fast Target Acquisition
- Battery: CR 2032
- Material: Aluminum
- Weight: 13.6 ounces
Predator V1 is a top red dot sight that also has a green dot to make it even more useful for various hunting conditions.
This scope offers super-fast target acquisition and you will never have to worry about centering thanks to the parallax free design. But what makes it a great red dot sight is that it will hold zero even after using it for thousands of shots.
Besides being able to choose between red and green dots, this dot sight also allows you to adjust the brightness to five different levels. And this makes it ideal for shooting at any time of the day.
This red dot scope is engineered to co-witness with iron sights perfectly to make it even more useful to have on your gun.
With the O-ring seals, it is completely waterproof and the nitrogen purge helps to prevent fogging inside the optics. And you will also get an extra battery on your purchase and lifetime warranty for the scope.
4. Vortex Optics SG_B00MAJKX9M_US – Sturdy and Extra High Recoil Aluminum Alloy Sight
- MOA: 4
- Battery: CR2
- Material: 30 mm aluminum alloy
- Weight: 9.6 ounces
If you are looking for a high-quality red dot sight that will offer super fast target acquisition and an unlimited field of view, the Strikefire II is a great choice.
The red dot sight is made from a 30 mm aluminum alloy chassis that will provide extra high recoil rating. It also undergoes nitrogen purging to make it fog proof and is fitted with O-ring seals to make it waterproof.
This red dot sight comes with fully multi-coated lenses that will provide a clean and bright an unobscured point of view. And you also get unlimited eye relief that will allow rapid target acquisition.
When you buy the Strikefire II you will also get an offset cantilever mount that will allow you to move the sight forward when you want to use it with a magnifier and iron sight.
Another fantastic feature on this red dot sight is the location of power controls at the rear for easy access and to improve functionality.
The shorter battery life is the most significant drawback with this sight but you will be happy to know that it will still last long enough to finish your hunting session.
5. Sig Sauer SOR52001 – Convenient and Versatile Scope with Multiple Illumination Settings
- MOA: 2
- Battery: Lithium-ion
- Material: Aluminum
- Weight: 16 ounces
SOR52001 from Sig Sauer is one of the most popular red dot sights out there, and this is despite being one of the priciest items on our red dot sights review.
The 2 MOA red dot scope provides 10 illuminations settings which are 8 for daylight and 2 for night vision to make it ideal for use under any lighting condition.
But, one of the features that many hunters will love is the motion activated illumination which means it will power up when it senses motion and power down when it does not.
And with a battery life of more than 40,000 hours, it will be a long time before you need to buy another battery.
The integrated M1913 Picatinny interface not only makes the scope easy to mount on your gun but also offers industry-standard mounting options to make the scope suitable for various applications.
The dot is a little on the smaller side when compared to other models on our list but it is still enough to ensure consistently accurate aiming.
6. CVLife Red Dot Sight With 20mm Rail – Best Budget Red Dot Sight
- MOA: 3
- Battery: CR 2032
- Material: Aluminum alloy
- Weight: 4.6 ounces
If you do not mind using an Allen wrench for adjustment, this is the best red dot sight for the money. It is the most affordable item on our list but it still performs better than many that cost several times its price.
For those that are looking for the best mini red dot sight for hunting or sports shooting, this will also be an excellent choice as it is both compact and lightweight.
It is constructed from aluminum alloy to make it highly durable and with anti-glare reflective coated lenses that will ensure that users get great optical clarity.
The tubeless design ensures that you always get a wide field of view and the scope allows for full windage and elevation adjustment.
Adjustment will require you to use an Allen wrench which for some users might be inconvenient but these wrenches are common, widely available and easy to use.
7. Field Sport SG_B00Y3SZEJC_US – High-Quality and Affordable Aluminum Sight
- MOA: 4
- Battery: CR 2032
- Material: Aircraft grade aluminum
- Weight: 4.2 ounces
You do not need to spend a lot of money to get a good red dot sight as this highly affordable one from Field Sport still performs well enough.
If you combine the high-quality aircraft grade aluminum construction with the high-quality lens you get one of the best value red dot sights.
It also comes with 5 different brightness settings each for the green and red dots which make it appropriate for use in almost any lighting condition. And it is also a fog proof and water-resistant scope to make it great for use in all weather conditions.
There is no need for centering when using this red dot sight as it is parallax designed. Also, it comes with a built-in mounting base for easy and convenient mounting.
While the dot might not be as crisp as what you get on the pricier high-end model, for a budget sight it is as good as it can get.
8. Sightmark SM26008 – User-Friendly Red and Green Sight
- MOA: 3
- Battery: CR123A
- Material: Cast aluminum alloy
- Weight: 9.2 ounces
SM26008 provides both red and green illumination on the reticle to make this a more versatile site. This is also a rugged and highly durable red dot sight thanks to the cast aluminum housing that also includes a protective shield.
It is powered by a common camera battery that will provide up to 2,000 hours of continuous use. And there is also an auto-off function to increase the battery life.
There are some digital switch controls on the side that are easy to locate for quick adjustment of the variable brightness settings.
The red dot sight is parallax corrected to eliminate the need for centering, and it comes with a quick detach weaver mount to make mounting fast and easy.
You also get unlimited eye relief and a wide field of view when using this red dot sight as you would with most other high-quality ones, and it is backed by a limited lifetime warranty.
After sometime the reticle can get blurry. But besides this being typical for most red dot sights it often comes from neglect, and so you can easily avoid it by taking good care of your sight.
How to Buy the Best Red Dot Sights
To get a great red dot sight, here are the most important points to consider.
1. Battery Free vs. Electronic Red Dot Sight
Although there are many kinds of red dot sights available in the market, most of the times shooters will have to choose between the battery free and electronic.
The only way to make sure that what you choose suits your needs and will work well for you is by understands what both are all about and some of their pros and cons.
Battery Free Red Dot Sight
Battery-free or reflex style red dot sights are the kinds that do not use any electronics. And what this means is there is no risk of the electronics failing or malfunctioning.
Many battery-free red dot sights will use tritium for illumination to make them well-suited for low light conditions. However, they are still not very reliable under low light conditions as they can wash out and have no way of increasing the intensity of the dot manually.
But since they do not have electronics or as many features as the electronic red dot sights, most tend to be more affordable.
Electronic Red Dot Sight
Electronic red dot sights are the more modern of the two, and as their name suggests, they use electronic parts that are powered by a battery to make them more reliable and efficient.
The technology used in these red dot sights is always improving and if you get one of the recent models you can be sure of ending up with a feature-rich red dot sight.
Also, their longevity and durability are always improving and there are some models in the market that can last up to a decade of continuous use.
Another significant advantage is that unlike the battery-free types, you can adjust the dot intensity as the lighting conditions change.
But, the presence of electronics makes these red dot sights more prone to malfunctions and also makes them more expensive to buy and maintain.
2. Dot Size
Dot size is one of the most important factors to consider when it comes to choosing a red dot sight as it has a great effect on targeting and aiming.
While the dot size and pattern might look insignificant for some people, picking the wrong ones can be a major setback. And to simply state it, a dot that is too small is hard to see while one that is too larger might block your target.
Some red dot sights try to correct size issues by having a large circle around the dot but it is still important to choose a size that suits your intended use.
If you are using a standard rifle, a simple 4 MOA like what you get on OTW Red Dot Sight Micro Riflescope will work fine as its small size will allow precision at close to medium range distances and it is still large enough for your eye to pick it.
When it comes to the reticle, the most important point to consider is the amount of light that it can let it as this determines where or when you can use the red dot sight.
Many high-quality red dot sights will come with a reticle that illuminates in low light settings which is very useful when hunting at night or under low light conditions.
The right reticle pattern for you will depend on your particular need or when you prefer hunting. If you hunt during the day, a reticle with low light settings will not be important or useful for you.
However, for those that use their rifles at night or under low light conditions, it is a great idea to get a reticle with low light settings and night vision compatibility.
A good red dot sight should be made of high-quality material that can withstand regular use and the vibrations that come with shooting a rifle.
Red dot sights might not be the most expensive rifle accessories but you still do not want to have to buy a new one after every few uses. And the best ones will be made from aluminum alloy like Bushnell AR731306 but aircraft-grade aluminum ones like Field Sport SG_B00Y3SZEJC_US are also sturdy enough.
Also, it can be very annoying when your red dot sight cracks or breaks when you need it most and are out hunting where you cannot get a replacement easily.
But even as you look for a high-quality red dot sight with tough materials it is also important to make sure that it is still lightweight enough and will not add any significant weight to your gun.
A red dot sight provides an easy and affordable way of upgrading your gun or improving aiming and targeting for more accurate shots. The good news is that there are many red dot sights for AR15 and our review above should provide enough recommendations.
And if you are looking for a quality red dot sight without spending a lot of cash, the CVLife Red Dot Sight With 20mm Rail is an impeccable choice.
That said, the Bushnell AR731306 is our best overall as it comes in a more lightweight design and also offers unlimited eye relief and is super easy to mount.